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What we did on our holidays

You may think it a tad odd to be writing about holidays. Quite when, where and how we shall holiday this summer is not at all clear. But the annual holiday, a short break or just time off work is something we look forward to. It’s perhaps equally odd to be thinking about holidays as almost 9 million people are on furlough, it’s been reported today. So why the focus on holiday?

We can all probably recollect memorable holidays and those that have been, quite frankly, a bit of a washout. Literally so in some cases. As we enjoyed our first garden encounter with our granddaughter on Saturday, my son reminded me that standing in the rain, eating a sandwich was just like family holidays, especially those taken in Scotland (sorry Scots friends).

But the more positive memories can help us recall better times and provide us with some comfort as we think about what might come next. But as we wait and see, how will our experience of the last three months affect us? What memories will we carry forward? Even though some of us have been forced to stay at home or very local we can all benefit from the change of routine and the chance to recharge the batteries that a holiday provides. Can we ‘holiday’ in a lockdown? I do think we need to try and that may take a bit of creative thinking,

The title of this piece could have come from many stories and films, but for me it’s the title of the folk-rock band Fairport Convention’s LP (old school) issued in early 1969. Incidentally the Fairports were the last band we saw live in late February before lockdown. The LP was recorded over the summer of 1968, the year of the Paris street riots, the huge anti-Vietnam war protest outside the American Embassy and the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia. It was a moment in time, young people making clear statements about how they wanted the world to be different, and I’m struck by the parallels with the Black Lives Matter protests we are seeing this week.

This started as a piece to encourage looking after yourself and taking time out. To safeguard your well-being and better equip you for the post lockdown uncertainty of what’s going to be OK and not OK in our church life. But it’s become something a little different. So the question ‘what did you do on your holidays’, is perhaps changing this year to ‘how did you spend the summer’ and ‘what difference did it make?’

Have a good break however you find and take it.

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